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Fact File

Fact File

Area: 923,766 sq. km
Population: 130 million (Estimate)
Capital: Abuja
National Day: October 1
Remembrance Day: January 15

Government: Three-tier structure:
Federal Government
State Government - 36
Local Government Administrations - 774

Official Language: English
Main Indigenous Languages: Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba
Main Religions: Christianity, Islam, Traditional
Main Commercial/Industrial Cities: Lagos, Onitsha, Kano, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Aba, Maiduguri, Jos, Kaduna, Warri, Benin, Nnewi

Major Industrial Complexes

Refineries and Petro-Chemicals: Kaduna, Warri, Port Harcourt, Eleme.
Iron and Steel: Ajaokuta, Warri, Oshogbo, Katsina, Jos. Fertilizer: Onne- Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Minna, Kano Liquefied
Natural Gas: Bonny
Aluminium Smelter: Ikot Abasi, Port Harcourt

Main Ports

Lagos (Apapa, Tin-can Island), Warri, Port Harcourt, Onne Deep Sea and Hub Port, Calabar (EPZ)

Main Airports

Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Enugu, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Ilorin, Jos, Owerri, Calabar, Yola, Sokoto.

Road Network

Over 15,000 km of intercity all weather paved roads, including dual carriage express trunks.


2 main lines (South-West to North-East; South-East to North-West) inter-linked and termini at Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kaura Namoda, Maiduguri and Nguru. Major junctions at Kaduna, Kafanchan, Zaria. Gauge: 1067mm; Total length 3505 route km.


Hydro-electric: Kanji, Jebba, Shiroro. Thermal and Gas: Egbin (Lagos), Ughelli, Afam, Sapele, National grid for electricity distribution; National pipeline network with regional depots for petroleum products distribution; National network (pipeline) for distribution of gas (under construction)

Major Natural Resources

Petroleum, Tin, Columbite, Iron, Ore, Coal, Bauxite, Limestone, Lead, Zinc, Gas.
Gem Stone: Amethyst, topaz, toumaline, ruby, aquamarine, sapphire, emerald, coral, amber

Major Agricultural Products

Yams, Cassava, Sorghum, rice, millet, maize, sugarcane, taro, plantains, peanuts, Palm oil, chillies, and green peppers, tomatoes, palm kernels, cotton lint, cocoa beans, timber and livestock.

Manufacturing: Food products, brewed beverages, refined petroleum, iron and steel, motor vehicles, textiles, cigarettes, footwear, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, cement.

Employment Breakdown: 47% Service; 46% agriculture, forestry and fishing; 7% industry.

Major Exports: Petroleum, cocoa beans, rubber, urea and ammonia, fish and shrimp, textiles, cotton, Major Imports: Machinery and transportation equipment, manufactured goods 9 mostly iron and steel, textiles and paper products, chemicals, food products.
Major Trading Partners: France, United States, Germany, Britain, Spain, and the Netherlands.
Gross Domestic Products: $59.559 billion (2004 estimate).
Currency: Naira (100 kobo = 1 Naira).


Nigeria is situated in the West African region and lies between longitudes 3 degrees and 14 degrees and latitudes 4 degrees and 140 degrees. It has a landmass of 923,768 sq. km. The Republics of Niger and Chad border it to the north. It shares borders to the west with the Republic of Benin, while the Republic of Cameroon shares the eastern borders right down to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, which forms the southern limits of Nigerian Territory. The about 800km of coastline confers on the country the potentials of a maritime power. Land is in abundance in Nigeria for agricultural, industrial and commercial activities.


Temperatures across the country is relatively high with a very narrow variation in seasonal and annual ranges (22-36t). There are two basic seasons; wet season which lasts from April to October; and the dry season that lasts from November till March. The dry season commences with Harmattan, a dry chilly spell that lasts till February and is associated with lower temperatures, a dusty and hazy atmosphere brought about by the North-Easterly winds blowing from the Arabian peninsular across the Sahara; the second half of the dry season, February - March, is the hottest period of the year when temperatures range from 33 to 38 degrees centigrade. The extremes of the wet season are felt on the southeastern coast where annual rainfall might reach a high of 330cm, while the extremes of the dry season, in aridity and high temperatures, are felt in the northern part of the country.


In line with the rainfall distribution, a wetter south and a drier northern half, there are two broad vegetation types: Forests and Savannah. There are three variants of each, running as near parallel bands east to west across the country.


Saline water swamp, Fresh water swamp and Tropical (high) evergreen Forests spread from the deep southern tip to the western and eastern parts of Nigeria. The Tropical evergreen rain forest belt bears timber, cassava, palm-oil, cocoa, rubber and citrus fruits production among others.


There is the Guinea savannah, Sudan savannah and the Sahel Savannah corresponding progressively from the central to northern extreme of the country. There is also the mountain vegetation of the isolated high plateau regions in central and the far eastern extremes of the country (Jos, Mambilla, Obudu). The savannah, especially Guinea and Sudan, are the major grains, tubers, vegetable and cotton growing regions including livestock.

Population & Labour Force

Nigeria is famous for her huge population of about 130 million people - the largest national population on the African continent. This population is made up of about 374 pure ethnic stocks. Three of them, Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba are the major groups and constitute over 40 per cent of the population. In fact, about 10 ethnic linguistic groups constitute more than 80% of the population: the other large groups are Tiv, Ibibio, Ijaw, Kanuri, Nupe, Gwari, Igala, Jukun, Idoma, Fulani, Edo, Urhobo, Ijaw, Efik and Ibibio. The gender divide of Nigeria’s population, as indicated by the last census in 1991, reflects an unusual imbalance in favour of male dominance; 51% male: 49% female.

However, the more critical population indices concern

  • High growth rate - 3.2%; this is affected by decreased infant mortality and high fertility;
  • High school age population - over 47% are 15 years and below;
  • High child dependency ratio - one dependant to one worker for the working age group 25-65;
  • Large work force - working age group 15-59 is over 40 per cent of the population.

Due to a massive expansion in the education sector in the last three decades, the coloration and quality of the Nigerian work force has changed to include a large corps of highly trained personnel in mechanical, civil, electrical, electronics, chemical and petroleum engineering and biotechnics. There are at present over 30 Federal and State Universities, some of them specialist -Technology and Agriculture. In addition there are at least 20 Federal and State Polytechnics.

Over 70,000 graduates in various disciplines from these institutions every year. Disciplines, apart from pure sciences, engineering and technologies, include social sciences, business studies (management, banking and finance), architecture, environment and urban management studies. Also, a sizeable Nigerian population has been and is being trained outside the country, in some of the best colleges in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, Japan and China.

Every year, about 2,000 of these Nigerians return home to seek employment or accommodation within the economy.
For the less skilled and unskilled labour, the country depends on the primary and secondary school systems whose annual enrolments are over 3.5 million and 1.5 million, respectively.

Resources: Agricultural, Mineral and Marine

Nigeria, in addition to its huge population is endowed with significant agricultural, mineral, marine and forest resources. Its multiple vegetation zones, plentiful rain, surface water and underground water resources and moderate climatic extremes, allow for production of diverse food and cash crops. Over 60 per cent of the population is involved in the production of the food crops such as cassava, maize, rice, yams, various beans and legumes, soya, sorghum, ginger, onions, tomatoes, melons and vegetable. The main cash crops are cocoa, cotton, groundnuts, oil palm and rubber. Extractions from these for export and local industrial use include cocoa flour and butter, rubber crumb, vegetable oil, cotton fibre and yarn. The rain forests have been well exploited for timber and wood products of exotic and popular species.

Oil and Gas, by value, are the most important minerals. They are exploited and produced in the Niger Delta basin and off-shore on the continental shelf and in the deep-sea of the territorial waters. Nevertheless, there are significant non-oil mineral deposits on land many of which have been identified and evaluated: coal, iron ore, gypsum, kaolin, phosphates, lime -stone, marble, columbite, baryte and gold.


Nigeria has more news publications than many African countries combined. According to UNESCO, Nigeria is one of only five countries, which had more than ten newspapers in 1990. Of those rive, Nigeria led with 31 dailies. South Africa had 22, Egypt 14, Morocco 13 and Algeria 10.  By 1993, while the numbers of newspapers in most African countries were declining, it actually ballooned in Nigeria.

Today, there are almost 80 major newspapers and 60 regularly published news magazines in Nigeria, most of them privately owned.

There are 50 state-owned television stations and 40 state-owned radio stations in Nigeria. Fourteen licenses have been given for private television stations, while Some radio stations are privately owned in Nigeria.